United States of Tara


It’s obvious to us why Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas, above), or in The League’s show lore terms, El Cunado, was excluded from brother-in-law Ruxin’s anniversary party.  While it was still a classic episode, thanks especially to Taco (John Lajoie), and his hilarious Ruxin wedding video montage (“Love is…), we were miffed nontheless. We get that the show is resolved to bring Rafi to viewers in small doses, but largely we find The League’s funniest episodes to include the infamous El-Cunado.  Aside from last season’s Thanksgiving episode, a comedic bounty which guest starred Sarah Silverman as Andre’s slutty sister and Jeff Goldblum as the senior Ruxin, the funniest episodes were ones in which Jason Mantzoukas reprised the Rafi role.  Most notably were the episodes that guested Mantzoukas and Brie Larson (United States of Tara), as Ruxin’s slutty au pair.

Ruxin, who seems to need Rafi whenever he is locked in a dilemma that the expert liar can not navigate alone, calls on Raffi to move into his home temporarily to make his free loading babysitter (Brie Larson, United States of Tara) uncomfortable.  When Ruxin opens the door on Rafi, who is sitting on the bowl, he becomes immediately revulsed.  But Rafi, always over the top, and in over the top style, declares that Ruxin is “watching it happen” right now (“The Au Pair”, S3, E3), before Ruxin has a chance to run out of there.  At moments like these we are left to wonder why show regulars Kevin and Pete have never made us laugh the way Rafi does in one scene.  Ruxin, Andre, Jenny (Katie Aselton) and Taco are consistently funny, but we can’t say we have any problems with their roles being minimized in order to find lines for Rafi, who is approaching “funniest character on TV” status.  This was the case a few weeks back during S4, E5 (“Breastalyzer”), when Andre had at best a nominal role, we assume, in order to make room for Rafi, whom Ruxin calls in because he has a conundrum.  His gorgeous wife Sophia (played by positively sizzling Nadine Velasquez) has signed their young son up for swim classes that meet regularly every Sunday through the end of football season, so Ruxin asks Rafi to take the boy to swimming class and to pretend to be Ruxin while there, so he can keep things cool with his wife.

Rafi steals the show in his very 1st line, as they cut to him on the couch next to Ruxin as Sophia informs Ruxin of his swim class obligation.  The audience doesn’t even know he’s there until Sophia starts walking out of the living room, when he declares that he “could watch her walk out of a room for hours.”

Rafi: “My sister’s body is bonkers.  I hope you you’re hitting that.”

Ruxin: “I have an idea.”

Rafi: “Jerkoff party (undoing his pants). I like where you’re going with this.”

Ruxin explains how he needs him to take the boy to swim class and impersonate him.  He also explains that there’s no smoking and no knives at swim class.

Rafi: “What if there’s an attack?”

Ruxin explains that there will be only mothers and children in the pool.

Raffi: “That’s exactly what I would attack.”

At swim class, Rafi affects the ruse that he is Ruxin, as instructed, strips down to a speedo with alacrity, cannon ball’s the pool (“Rafi Bomb”, below), and then criticizes the instructor for allowing a pool of 5 yr olds flotation devices.

Rafi: “You think they’re gonna get one of these when the Russians attack?”

After that, Rafi begins to hit on the instructor, Gail (Andrea Savage).  Cut to him arriving at Taco’s housewarming party with said instructor.  Rafi seeks out Ruxin and excitedly tells him his date is crazy.

Rafi: “We just had sex in the cab!”

Ruxin: “You just had sex in the back of the cab?”

Rafi: “In the back…of her body.”

Ruxin quickly discovers though, that Rafi’s date is his son’s swim teacher, those circumstances needing to remain secret to Sophia or the great dad myth will be blown.  So Ruxin orders Rafi to get rid of her.  Because Gail is not compliant, Rafi decides to tell her that he is in love with another woman in the room, who happens to be his sister.  His go to move is to French kiss her in front of Gail–an obvious, aggressive and overzealous kiss at that–and then to compliment Sophia on what a good kisser she is, Rafi style.  So he tells her she kisses so well it ‘made his dick hard.’. Sophia seemed intrigued at that, leaving open the awesome possibility of more hilarious incest jokes in The League’s future.

Sophia: “It’s hard, really?”

Rafi: “You wanna check?”

We won’t spoil the grand finale for you, one that left Rafi with the impression that he was going to have sex with Kevin and Taco’s mom.  But it was a grand finale, left to be executed by a rising star.

We enjoyed Jason Mantzoukas very much as a frequent voice on The life and Times of Tim and look forward to seeing him reprise his role as one of Laura’s Dern’s co-workers on Enlightened, which returns to HBO for S2 in the new year.  We also liked Mantzoukas in his recurring guest spot as off the cuff Indiana perfume giant Dennis Feinstein on Parks and Recreation.  And we get the premise of Rafi on The League: good for making a porno in Andre’s apartment with Dirty Randy (Seth Rogan), not so good at family gatherings.  Whether he is needed to creep out the help, stand in for Ruxin, or be Andre’s designated driver, who does not get the principle that designated drivers do not drink, mind you (Rafi, upon being questioned for guzzling a beer, says ‘don’t worry, I’ll crap the booze out.’. They ask him if that works. ‘Sorta.’), we are really hoping they find more uses for this fantastic character on The League.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Amy (Laura Dern) and Levi (Luke Wilson) survey Levi’s stash house (above).

We were very happy to see Bored to Death return for a 3rd season, and happier still to see it paired with a new show on Monday night, making for the only non Sunday HBO original programming since our beloved In Treatment went black.  HBO, having had to recognize the strides made by Showtime on Mondays, especially with heroine themed dramedies Tara and The Big C, seemed to go that route, tapping Laura Dern to co-create and star in Enlightened.

The Monday schedule however, even with a staple like BTD, hasn’t really gotten rolling.  We were not surprised when we heard that Enlightened was on the renewal bubble for a 2nd season, even though HBO usually announces renewals very early on when they are behind a show.  BTD has not been the lights out comedy hijinx we have come to know from it which could be part of the reason, along with a non traditional night, for Enlightened’s lukewarm and so far unimpressive numbers.  BTD, 1 of our favorites because of both the Brooklyn n the bud, has been a weaker strain this year, and the beauty of the show, the magical ensemble of the Jason Schwartzman-Zach Galafianakis-Ted Danson triumvirate seems more trite and forced this season.  The show has picked up in recent weeks with Jonathan’s visit to The Dick Cavett show, and was at its best all season Monday when Ray’s already complex love life took a bisexual turn.  The show has drawn on perhaps its all-time best moment, when Jonathan was made to snuggle in bed with his girlfriend’s boyfriend, the signature moment of last season.

We were of course glad to see Sarah Silverman on BTD in the role of friends counseling therapist and thought her funny, though her face has seen better days (sorry Sarah).  Hopefully she gets some more run in the role.  And hopefully the show gets back to basics.  In this case, that would be the bud.  We also understand Enlightened’s problems.  Truth be told, episodes 1 and 2 were very underwhelming.  We sat there waiting for things to happen that never did.  HBO’s audience, frankly, must not be used to the pace of this show, which is very slow.  HBO’s half hour format is usually sensory overload–so many sights (Entourage), so many jokes (Curb, Flight), so much drama (In Treatment).

Enlightened is practically no jokes, hardly any likable characters, and very slow plot machinations. Dern plays a woman fresh off a nervous breakdown and a stint at a mental health facility, who is grating, forcefully repetitive, and who seems to have none of the LA sensibilities or standard sensibilities of the others in her life, which upon further review, don’t seem so sensible, except for Levi (Luke Wilson), who takes drugs so he “doesn’t have to think all the time”.

Dern’s Amy Jellicoe has a mother (Diane Ladd) who is at best disinterested with her and at worst scared of her.  And she lives with her.  How depressing  and yet common is that?  She has an old set of coworkers she thought were friends who are obviously not and a new set of coworkers, a motley crew of company rejects stuck in the basement like her.  One of those coworkers is Jason Mantzoukas, our beloved Tim’s bad boy Dr. (“did you take a hurty poopy?”), who also plays Ruxin’s (Nick Kroll, also of Tim fame) hilariously inappropriate brother-in-law Raffi on The League (when sandwich dancing on the outside of a stripper in Vegas: “He has a lot of money and I have huge dick.  Let’s do this!”)  It would be difficult to make Mantzoukas not funny. Yet Enlightened practically has.

This is probably the most realistic show on HBO’s airwaves right now, the antithesis of shows like Entourage and How to Make It in America that always seem to end on a high note, in fantastical pastry puff worlds.  Enlightened would probably be the karmatic balance of Entourage for HBO.  If there’s any escape at all for the viewer, it could be that our lives are actually better than theirs.  Dern has a meaningless job and only the shell of her former career as some sort of corporate buyer.  She has only pretend friends who are pained at the sight of her.  She is abrasive and over zealous and a lot of the time you say ‘I can’t even like her.’  She forces her unrealistic therapy inspired ideas on the wrong people at the wrong times and places, and she clutches her new found belief system for dear life, as some in recovery tend to do.  You just wanna tell her to save it, not only because the ideas might be bad, but because the people around her are so filled with apathy.

Amy gets every flat tire, is caught in every rainstorm–figurative and literal–and has already chucked her self help bible in the trash.  So far though, she has treated every day like a new day, and she is back each morning at her toil anew.  So far.  We think that’s the point of it all.  Life in general.  Bad jobs and few real friends and inadequate partners and family members.  Bad cars and bad bosses and living arrangements in places where you can walk 10 miles without once encountering a soul that gets you.

But you have to keep going.  Should she stumble, foreshadowed by flashbacks of binge drinking and Levi’s ‘Mexican pharmacy’ it would only indicate that Amy is even more like us than we care to admit, annoying personality ticks and all.

This is a very smart show.  It’s one you may never enjoy, at least not in the usual sense.  Get into the misery.  If you give it a long enough look, a satori might be your eventual reward.

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

Early this season on AMC’s smash hit Mad Men, Peggy Olsen (Elisabeth Moss), who pulls no punches, told Don (above)  “we’re all here because of you.”  Peggy, eager to please her mentor, but also put off by his excessive drinking and snappy temper, was quite emphatic.  The new agency, SCDP, was populated by people for the most part hand picked by Don.  After Don gave a poorly received interview to a trade publication, the new venture, along with people’s confidence in the magical Don Draper was imperiled.  Don would right his gaffe by giving a lights out interview to the Wall Street Journal.  Later in the season, he’d win a prestigious award in his field–a monument to the new agency.  Don even began exercising restraint with the bottle.  It was a good sign for DD fans who saw his life careening out of control.  It took a drunken tussle with Duck Phillips of all people for him to recognize the need for a more sober Don.  How embarrassing it was when a much younger Don said “uncle” with Duck on top of him.  But Don had fought to protect Peggy’s honor, and their relationship, which fractured some time after Don had come to visit Peggy in the hospital after she gave birth to Campbell’s love child, mostly because Don had been extra hard on Peggy and because Peggy perceived that Don would always get the credit for her work, was back on track.  Unfortunately for Don it took a death to someone important to him–the real Ms. Draper–for Peggy to see Don in a different light.  The rift between creative’s 2 most creative, especially after Don had brought Peggy back to the agency from oblivion, and after Peggy had bailed Don out of a Long Island jail on a DUI rap, had us very disturbed.  We were happy to see things set right, and learning that Cooper (Robert Morse) had lost his testicles in the Great War and that Sterling (John Slattery) had been sexually ravaged by that cougar Ms. Blankenship was the cherry on top.

In many regards, it’s been a watershed year for Don.  Don started swimming, pardon the earlier pun, and we noticed that the dullness that had set in after his divorce was departing.  Perhaps it wasn’t quite the year we were expecting from him though.  I for one, assumed that Don, newly single and unleashed upon the city, would display that “legendary prowess” with the ladies, to steal a phrase from Nazi party, um, I mean Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino.  But Don has been leading a mostly quiet existence.  For Don.  He’s still in the same little apartment on Waverly which is well below his means.  He consented to a few dates with Bethany (Anna Camp) at the urging of Roger and Jane (Peyton List), had sex with his secretary Allison (Alexa Alemanni), which led to her throwing a paper weight at him and leaving in tears–a drunken tryst which gave Don more reason to cut back on the booze–and to scale back the office romances.  Slightly.  Don would still hook up with Dr. Miller (Cara Buono), banged a prostitute on the regular who he liked to beat him about the face during sex, quite the commentary on Don’s self esteem, but the dapper Draper seemed downright uncomfortable at the Kit Kat Club with Lane (Jared Harris), whose dalliance with a hooker on his impromptu New Year’s Eve with Don seemed to create a monster.

Don has also resolved some familial issues this season.  Despite Betty’s new husband Henry’s (Christopher Francis) obvious disdain for him, Don presented himself at his son Gene’s birthday party, intent on not becoming the forgotten man in Gene’s life.  Don’s new life may not be ideal, but he has progressed as a man, shown feelings, and learned from mistakes.  None of that helped him any when Lee Garner Jr. (Darren Pettie) gave Roger the jarring news that Lucky Strike, the account that “kept the lights on”, had moved on.  If that wasn’t bad enough, the aeronautics company that Campbell landed when Don left Pete stranded poolside in Hollywood to go off with a young hottie, was conducting background checks which left Don’s background exposed.  Don ordered Pete, who knows Don’s secret, to drop the account.  The firm went from profitable to the Titanic in one day, and Campbell, with a baby on the way, was furious at Don.  With nobody in the business willing to give SCDP the time of the day due to the prevailing notion in the industry that they’d be out of business in 6 months, Lane arranged for a credit extension to keep the firm afloat.  But the extension required an outlay of $100,000 from the senior partners and $50,000 each from Lane and Pete.  With the company just about flatlining, Don did something.  He wrote a letter to the New York Times criticizing the tobacco industry and the ad companies that stumped for it.  The letter was met with outrage by the partners, especially from Bert Cooper, who made a most valid point: by not signing all their names to it, the letter submarined and undermined the other partners.  Cooper was so incensed that he took his shoes and quit on the spot.  Only Peggy saw the letter for what it was: a publicity stunt meant to gain SCDP much needed attention. 

Where the episode left off on Sunday night, the letter had yet to produce tangible effects economically.  But anti-tobacco organizations are dialing them up, and as Ken Cosgrove (Aaron Staton) pointed out, those organizations have infuential members who sit on the boards of major companies.  Don is enthused that they will have an opportunity to work, and that their work will surely lead to more work.  With regard to Campbell, Don did the right thing by putting up Campbell’s $50,000–a source of strife between Campbell and pregnant wife Trudy (Alison Brie).

The fact remains going into Sunday’s finale that the firm is in dire need of new accounts.  Layoffs have begun, the industry buzz is that they are dead men walking, and they need more than a letter to The Times to turn the tide.  Don must make it rain.  After all, he is the brightest star in Mad Men’s midst, and what Peggy said about them all being there because of him can be applied to us, the audience, as well.  If Don didn’t feel that burden, he’d never have felt obligated to pay Pete’s share, or to assure Peggy her job.  Are we really going to have to sit through an anti-climactic finale in which the agency goes down in flames?

We think not.  Season 3’s ending was one of the great season finale’s we’ve ever seen, and one of the strongest Mad Men episodes ever.  Last year, Don, with his family life crumbling, rose above his personal circumstance, found a way to circumvent his contract, and formed the new agency in dramatic fashion.  We look for something similarly spectacular from Don this week, and we trust that ace show creator, writer, and executive producer Mathew Weiner will give to us.

We would speculate, gun to our head, that Chelcie Ross will reprise his role as Conrad Hilton–a man who “comes and goes” as he pleases, someone Don has a history with, and who has the clout and financial might to take the agency off life support.

As for last week, Weiner is to be credited for having his son reprise the role of Glen, and for having United States of Tara star Rosemarie Dewitt reprise the role of Don’s former lover Midge.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/breaking-bad-poor-finale-ends-excellent-season/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/mad-men-problems-for-don-loom-glen-returns/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/mad-men-don-and-betty-up-to-old-and-new-tricks/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/mad-men-jon-hamm-tells-parade-he-doesnt-want-wife-and-kids/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/sal-romano-we-hardly-knew-ye/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/january-jones-jennifer-aniston-love-triangle/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/january-jones-seeing-chef-bobby-flay/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/january-jones-in-4-car-crash-thursday-night-fleeing-paparazzi-nipple-shot/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/tara-jackie-and-joannie-holloway/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/my-old-kentucky-home/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/battle-of-the-moolighting-mad-men-wives-alison-brie-versus-peyton-list-picture-show/

Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

January Jones (top), Jennifer Aniston (middle), and Jason Sudeikis (bottom).

In recent weeks, both Jennifer Aniston and Mad Men star January Jones have been linked to Saturday Night Live performer Jason Sudeikis, but it is Jones who continues to be seen in public with Sudeikis, who she reportedly was all over at the recent ESPY awards.  These reports coming just a few weeks after Jones left the scene of an accident in Los
Angeles at the behest of Bobby Flay, and it has been whispered that Jones left the scene of the accident because she was drunk.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/january-jones-seeing-chef-bobby-flay/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/january-jones-in-4-car-crash-thursday-night-fleeing-paparazzi-nipple-shot/

It also comes just weeks after many magazines prominently linked the 34 year old Sudeikis with 41 year old Jennifer Aniston, after the two seemed to get very close after working in film together.  One report went so far as to say that Aniston forced Sudeikis on a studio intent on signing her to play the lead in an upcoming film, and that Sudeikis was given the leading man role opposite Aniston.

January Jones and Saturday Night Live‘s Jason Sudeikis may be Hollywood’s newest item.

Reports surfaced that that the Mad Men star, 32, and Sudeikis, 34, were making out all night at an ESPY after party and spending a lot of time together on the set of Sudeikis’s new movie. Thursday, the maybe-duo was spotted hanging out again.

Sudeikis, who in June was briefly linked to Jennifer Aniston, recently divorced his wife of six years, 30 Rock writer Kay Cannon. Jones has been recently linked to Entourage‘s Jeremy Piven and to Oscar winner Adrien Brody.

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20402671,00.html

More on Aniston-Sudeikis:

Move over Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper, Jason Sudeikis is Jennifer Aniston‘s latest rumored beau! The Saturday Night Live star is now being linked to his Bounty Hunter costar. According to gossip website PerezHilton.com, a source claims the two have been on a few secret dates and “are enjoying taking things to the next level.” 

According to the source, “he is just what Jen needs — a solid, low-key, funny man. It’s early days, but she’s quietly thrilled.” An insider alleges that Aniston, 41, provided comfort to Sudeikis, 34, in the wake of his divorce from 30 Rock scribe Kay Cannon and that the two didn’t start seeing one another until the filming of their movie was over and his divorce was finalized.

http://www.ivillage.com/jennifer-aniston-dating-snls-jason-sudeikis/1-a-210829

Let’s give a hand to Sudeikis, obviously a fast worker, who seemed to bag January Jones and Jennifer Aniston this year–way to go, stud.  For those of you who do not watch movies or Saturday Night Live, you may know Sudeikis as Liz Lemon’s ex boyfriend on 30 Rock, the one who proposed to his new girlfriend on Good Morning America.

As for January Jones, she reprises her award winning role as Betty Draper in the season 4 premiere of Mad Men, Sunday at 10 PM EST on AMC.  Read about Mad Men and the lovely ladies of Mad Men at the links below.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/mad-men-christina-hendricks-this-months-cover-of-health-magazine/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/mad-men-season-1-marathon-8-pm-est-amc/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/esquire-picked-scarlett-over-christina-for-may-cover-lady-pics/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/battle-of-the-moolighting-mad-men-wives-alison-brie-versus-peyton-list-picture-show/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/mad-men-rubicon-set-for-725-premieres/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/mad-men-half-dead/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/my-old-kentucky-home/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/sal-romano-we-hardly-knew-ye/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/tara-jackie-and-joannie-holloway/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/community-jeff-and-britta-do-the-deed-finally/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/community-finale-winger-chooses-door-3/

Can’t wait for season 4, episode 1 (# 53), entitled “Public Relations”…

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/tara-jackie-and-joannie-holloway/

So I’ve been going to town on television lately, and with good reason, for much good TV is either set to premiere or rerun.  Two Showtime favorites, if imperfect, that return tomorrow (3/22/10) are The  United  States of Tara and Nurse Jackie, a Lionsgate TV production.  Lionsgate’s masterpiece, Mad Men, also returns tomorrow/tonight in reruns (12 AM), as AMC looks to capitalize and piggyback on the success of Breaking Bad, in its season 3 premiere, which will be aired at 10 PM and repeated at 11 PM, leading into Mad Men at 12:03.

We have learned that tonight’s Breaking Bad deals with the aftermath of the plane crash, which is an indicator that there will not be any real time lag between the season 2 finale and the season 3 premiere.  We have no idea where Nurse Jackie will pick up, but it was certainly unsettling where she left off–locked inside a hospital room, about to pass out on the floor after drinking 3 bottles of morphine–and with good reason.  Her boyfriend, Eddie (Paul Schulze, who you might remember best as Father Intintola from The Sopranos), lets Jackie (Edie Falco) know that he has just met her husband, who she had concealed from everyone except Dr. O’Hara (Eve Best).

 Jackie is a very different role for Falco than Carmella Soprano, and I find her good in both, though Carmella Soprano was more of a scrutable character.  It is very hard to understand Jackie’s deviousness, and how she betrays her husband so easily (Dominic Fumusa).  Though she is a drug addict, and Eddie who was until recently the hospital’s pharmacist and her supplier, as well as her noon time  lover, which makes total sense from the outside, but not from within. Inside the text, Jackie is a lot more complex than that.  To crack her behavior up to the pressure’s of running a nursing unit in an ER in a busy Manhattan hospital is overly simplistic as well.

I find myself comparing Falco in this role more and more to her former fictional husband, Tony Soprano.  She gets off on being able to do whatever she wants, whenever she wants, and now we finally get to see her deal with some consequences.  While the audience, I assume, hopes she gets off easy, as we always hoped for Tony, I’m not sure we quite find ourselves rooting for her in the same way as we rooted for Tony, a veritable super hero of television–even though she has gone to great lengths to help children, steal from the rich and give to the poor.  Perhaps that’s a societal double standard at play.  At any rate, Jackie, like Tony Soprano, is a premeditated murder (she euthanized a friend and former colleague who was dying a slow and painful death), and that is a little different than killing one’s own nephew, the way Tony killed Christopher by pinching his nostrils while he choked on his own blood.  Jackie may have even more of a God complex than Tony S., and that means the show can literally take us anywhere, and I must say I am apprehensive about this powder keg.

I just saw spots for Tara and Jackie on Showtime, and Anne Deavere Smith, who plays Nurse Akolitas, talked on the ad about how at the end of the day, Jackie will do anything to help those in need.  Like snorting the little round contents of these unnamed capsules?  By the way, how do those little round balls stay up her nose?  She doesn’t even crush them up or anything!  I guess Jackie is a bit of a superhero too.

At the end of the day, I am left to wonder if she will do anything to help people because of the bad stuff she is atoning for, and not out of her “humanitarian” disposition.  Either way, season 2 should be the tits.  We’ve seen what she’s done, and now we have to see the repurcussions, and though Jackie isn’t all good, I, for one, am very scared for her.  But I have this feeling it aint gonna be no thing for this dope fiend.  And we would be remiss if we did not also mention the outstanding performances turned in by nurse in training, Zoe (Merrit Weaver), and by Haaz Sleiman, playing Mohammed, Jackie’s closest nurse friend.

As for Tara, her and I got off on the wrong foot.  When a scientific premise is not accurate, I have trouble falling into that sort of plot.  I’m not gonna go crazy about it, but I had a problem with the medication that Tara was prescribed for her M.P.D.  Not to be too specific, but they were talking about anti anxiety meds and she was in need of some serious anti psychotics.  If the much ballyhooed creator and lead writer, Diablo Cody, is too lazy to get that right, then the show stands on shaky footing.

But then you see the cast–truly stellar–led by Toni Collette, who burst on to the scene almost 20 years ago in the Indie classic Muriel’s Wedding, her husband, played by the affable John Corbett, who played Carrrie’s love Aiden on Sex and the City, and who I always preferred for her to Big.  By the way, how bad are they dragging Sex and the City out?  I mean, I thought the movie was over 2 separate times when there was still one and a half hours, and 45 minutes left, respectively.  Kill me already.  And that my wife will force me to watch the sequel, about 4 women who were never hot in the first place and are now 10-15 years removed from their glory days, is already making my stomach turn.

Tara’s children probably make the show.  Her daughter, played by Brie Larson (not Bree Olsen!), totally nails the free spirited hot teenage daughter of a seriously mentally ill mother.  Tara’s son, Marshall, played by Keir Gilchest, is considered by some to be the show, a young adolescent, openly homosexual, living in Kansas, who has enough to deal with, as you can imagine, without one of Tara’s alters hooking up with his first boyfriend.  But Marshall dealt with that rather decisively, by setting a large fire in the family’s backyard, now didn’t he?

And we must also mention Tara’s sister, Charmaine (Rosemarie Dewitt, also known for her role on Mad Men as the hippy chick that Don was fucking in season 1).

Speaking of Mad Men, as we have mentioned, reruns begin at 12:03, with season 3, episode 1, “Out of Town”, in which Don (Jon Hamm)and the aforementioned in these pages, Sal Romano (Bryan Batt) must take a business trip on which Don discovers that Sal is gay.  To his credit, Don is cool with it, perhaps identifying with Sal on account of his own secrets.  This pivotal episode involving Sal makes us all the more sad that he will not be returning to the cast to reprise his role.

But we are stoked that Christina Hendricks will be featured on the little screen for the next thirteen Monday mornings, in her role as office manager Joannie Holloway.  While January Jones and Elisabeth Moss come bearing bigger names, Joannie does more than hold her own, which isn’t easy, considering the size of her breasts and her alien like measurements.  Hendricks was recently featured in New York Magazine, and you should all check it out.  The 34 year old is about to become a breakout star.  And because I like you guys so much, I will leave you with a few photos of her to contemplate.

Obviously, Esquire was hot for her too…

Here’s a shot of Joan looking all hot over at Sterling Cooper.

Ahh, the women of Showtime and Lionsgate, their secret lives, multiple identities, and of Joannie–I don’t know what to say, other than I’m so glad she’s back, if only in reruns.  Enjoy.

Peace,

Crack